Consumers Rely On Online Reviews, But Don’t Completely Trust Them

While the majority of consumers believe online reviews help them along their shopping journey (88%), only a fraction of these customers (18%) actually trust that all the information contained within the reviews is valid, according to Trustpilot.

This significant gap reveals that it is critical for businesses to not only incorporate online reviews into the shopping experience, but to deploy them in a way that will build trust and transparency with the consumer.

Trustpilot surveyed more than 1,000 online shoppers as part of the study, which found that:


  • 19% read reviews prior to visiting a company’s site;

  • 25% read reviews as soon as they get there; and

  • 47% read while on the site but before adding an item to their cart (i.e. while actively shopping). 

To close the gap between those seeking out trustworthy online reviews and those who believe the reviews are fully authentic, Trustpilot recommends that retailers gain a greater understanding of how shoppers read, write and believe in online reviews.

Half of consumers feel that the overall rating of a review or a high-level, easy-to-understand aggregation of a company’s feedback to it are the most important factors when it comes to reading online reviews. Additionally, 20% cited how recently the reviews were posted as the most important factor, while another 20% said the number of reviews posted for a product is more relevant.

The report identified several best practices to help businesses create more trustworthy customer feedback strategies, including:

  • Ensuring online reviews are easy to find and showcasing them to customers during every step of the shopping experience;

  • Giving customers a forum for reviews and inviting them to leave their opinion;

  • Responding to negative feedback in real time;

  • Asking the customer to update their review once the situation is resolved; and

  • Analyzing sentiment to continually improve business and products.



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